YouTube Offers Live Streaming to Partners

LOS ANGELES — YouTube has begun to allow select users to stream videos live, signaling a major shift in functionality of its video hosting service.

Until now the site has been designed to let users upload videos they've already taken, but with the new system, users can simply hit a button and be streaming video live to other users, according to a CNET report.

In a post announcing the feature, the company says the new live feature is only being provided to a select group of YouTube partners.

"The goal is to provide thousands of partners with the capability to live stream from their channels in the months ahead," the company wrote on the YouTube blog. "In order to ensure a great live stream viewing experience, we'll roll this offering out incrementally over time."

In September of last year YouTube expanded its live streaming efforts to some additional partners, including Next New Networks, which the company ended up acquiring in March.

YouTube now joins a handful of other companies that offer the feature to both consumers and businesses. Those companies include Brightcove, Ustream, Justin.TV, Kyte, and Livestream.